Butler: A LOT of people didn't like her. I did. Speak up in class (and often) and know what you're talking about the first time she calls on you and you'll be fine. She just really wants you to participate. Be prepared to deal with some disorganization, and a little preachiness. This will only be her second year at SMU, and her second year teaching anything other than LRWA anywhere. I had her,
so if she's using the same book I'm selling it, and if you want I can send you my outlines and study notes and stuff (which probably won't be helpful until closer to finals). Butler was disorganized about the way she called on people, sometime asking for volunteers, sometimes insisting she was moving to a purely Socratic method. Just go with the flow and be prepared.
Palacios: Palacios is...interesting. She lectures exclusively from powerpoint, which for the most part she'll upload to TWEN right before class, so you can follow along and print out to study from. She has, in the past, put questions up before class that you're not supposed to write down, and explain the answers after calling on people. Before she used to use these questions as her exam. This year, though, she was told by someone that people were circulating both the answers to questions in years past as well as writing down and circulating the answers to this year's questions. She flipped out and completely changed her test, acknowledging that she was making it a lot longer and harder as a sort of punishment. Not cool. She's a little flighty and moody in class, doesn't necessarily appreciate any differing political viewpoints than hers brought up in class, and makes things a little uncomfortable sometimes (especially during the rape segment of the course). All that being said, I think she's not too difficult to be in class with if you can figure out ahead of time that you just need to approach things from her side of the line. (IE - the death penalty is wrong, everyone should be paroled). She calls on people randomly based on the seating chart, but allows you to leave her a note on the podium before class if you're unprepared. I think you only get one a semester, though.
Heard (for LRWA): I don't know if anyone has her, but she's great. Very fun and easy to talk to and get information from. That being said, she's a REALLY hard (but fair) grader.
ETA: Just kidding, my Torts book just sold on Amazon. If you want to buy my books I just listed them on Amazon, but I'll pull them off. You just need to let me know soon (they've only been up for an hour and I've sold two already).